Facing me in my office is the above image of Bob Dylan.
There is another image of Dylan, my personal favorite, “Forever Young” which has been a personal sort of mantra. A post on that theme I leave for another time.
“Times They Are A-Changin” occupies front and center right now. When it appeared that the pandemic was inevitably headed our way, I like most began to think about What is our Plan B? The question that started in the background, now begs front and center, to be answered.
An investment banker colleague of mine years back would, in virtually every discussion about effective business leadership, say 'if you take care of the downside the topside will take care of itself.' The phrase expressed succinctly his philosophy in business and indeed, his life. In a nutshell everything he did had a Plan B. And, I dare say a Plan C and beyond. Living at the edges for him was not an option. In my guidance practice I often find myself mouthing his words to clients .
Covid-19 had forced the question, “What is your Plan B?"
Some of us have thought about Plan B’s. Some calculate deeply about covering the downside. Sometimes the fear of the unknown, of uncharted waters, immobilize to the point of inaction.
For many the downside gets a passing glance and we move on. I’ve long been a member of this category. Like many I’ve been confident of my skill, long honed from experience, to deal with whatever comes my way. There were times when when pulling the proverbial rabbit out of the hat did not work so well, but I survived.
These 'a-changin' times feel different to me. There is a sense that if there ever was a normal, we will not see its return. It’s as if we been living on borrowed time as the fault lines of our organizational and societal structure have been exposed at once. It feels like VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) at warp speed.
Thomas Friedman, in Thank You For Being Late, spoke to the benefits of a pause for we humans. There is surely a time for that. Mostly though, it is a time for connection and the finding of “what’s the ground we can stand on? Or another way stated, 'Reality always wins. Our role is to get in touch with that reality.' Both phrases were passed along by early mentors of mine in my guidance role.
Speaking of mentors Dr. Seuss resonates or says it best about Plan B, 'Marvin K. Mooney the time is now.'
What is your Plan B? What is our Plan B?
If you’d like some guidance and/or support for navigation into your Plan B, you are welcome to sign up for a complimentary guidance time. And stay tuned for our peer group program: Transitioning to Virtual Work.